India’s telecom regulator isn’t happy with Apple

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Apple might be desperate to make inroads into India, but not everyone in the country is quite as supportive as Apple might like.

In particular, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has accused Apple of carrying out “data colonization” in the country, while also being “anti-consumer” in its behavior. The strong language suggests an attempt to paint Apple as the bad guy among the general public.

Security issues in India

The main issue appears to be a disagreement with Apple over the company’s refusal to approve a service that lets customers pass on, “details about pesky calls and unwanted messages to authorities as well as their mobile operators.” Google’s Android platform already supports this Do-Not-Disturb (DND) app, but according to R. S. Sharma, the chairman of TRAI, Apple has just been, “discussing, discussing, and discussing,” without doing anything.

The app procures SMS details and call records from phones, but Apple has not approved the service, for reasons that aren’t mentioned in the article. Given past reasons why Apple would not approve such apps, security seems like it will be the most likely objection.

That reason doesn’t seem to wash with Sharma, however. “Basically [Apple] are violating the right of the user to willingly share his/her own data with the regulator or with any third party of his/her choice,” he said. “If a customer wants to share financial transaction data with his/her bank, for getting a loan, why should it not be allowed? This is what we call data colonization.”

A questionnaire sent to Apple has reportedly gone unanswered, although Apple continues to communicate with the regulator over the matter.

Growing Apple’s market in India

Earlier this week, it was reported that Apple is working on a

second-gen iPhone SE, which will be targeted at the Indian market. This is part of Apple’s strategy to double its Indian market share over the next fives years.

Recently Apple has opened an app accelerator in India with the goal of creating local iOS apps, while it is also pushing to open a flagship Apple store in the countryAs we’ve noted before, India is one of the big future hopes for Apple as a market — particularly with Apple running into various problems in China.

Source: Times of India